What You’ll Learn Today:

  • What triggers really are
  • How to identify your own triggers
  • My quick 6-step process for stopping a trigger in its tracks!

Top Take-A-Ways:

  • Triggers all about reactions. You’re re-acting meaning, you’re acting in a way you’ve acted before. An emotional trigger is basically anything that happens currently that reminds your brain of something that’s happened to you earlier in life.
  • When you’re triggered it’s generally happening below your conscious level of thinking.
  • Everyone’s got triggers. The goal is to be able to identify when you’re triggered so you can act and not re-act.

What to Do When You’re Triggered: 6 Easy Steps

Doing these steps in order is key because the first three are all about turning on your parasympathetic nervous system which will calm your brain enough to be able to do steps four through six!

  1. Stop. That’s right; the moment you realize you’ve been triggered, you need to stop and not react. Just be still and in your body.
  2. Shrug. do a shoulder shrug and then make sure you relax your tongue (it’s usually on the roof of your mouth or pressing against your teeth)
  3. Breathe. Notice your breathing. Make sure you’re breathing out of your belly (not your chest). Take one deep breath and release it slowly. 
  4. Name the fear. Are you anxious, angry, scared, overwhelmed, numb? See the feeling like a cloud moving past you. You can say, “I’m experiencing anxiety” but don’t say, “I’m anxious.” Separate it from yourself. It really isn’t you. 
  5. Name what’s under the fear. What does this situation remind you of? If you used the words “always” or “never” – what were the other times you experienced this before your partner? 
  6. Get Perspective. Try not to judge what’s going on and try to bring perspective to the situation. What else could be true about this situation? Are you being correct or effective? Don’t be afraid of your emotions – work with them and try to see them objectively.

Resources and Links:

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